what bike to buy as a new heavy starter

by jonesjones   July 7, 2014  

hi all
new to the forum should I be asking on weight restrictions my weight is 22 stone what bike is the recommend for my weight would any bike will do any advice would be appreciated cheers Wave

19 user comments

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I'd start off with a sturdy hybrid like a mid-range Trek FX or a Giant Escape. If you really want drop bars then go for something designed to handle a bit of weight, like a tourer.

I wouldn't spend too much: a £500-600 hybrid will have decent kit and sturdy wheels, which are the most likely thing to suffer with the weight.

and enjoy yourself Smile

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7857 posts]
7th July 2014 - 18:15


dave ty for the information cheers Wave

posted by jonesjones [4 posts]
7th July 2014 - 19:33


I wasn't a million miles off your weight when I started cycling (again) and it's wise to be conscious of rider weight limits.

That said, they're not always easy to find, sometimes necessitating reading the warranty information on a manufacturer's website... I generally found that 125kg was about the limit on mainstream road bikes, whereas hybrids and MTBs tended to be another 10 or so kgs higher.

As Dave says, this isn't so much because the frame itself will just give way, more that parts like wheels may damage more easily with heavier riders and they don't want to keep replacing them under warranty all the time.

You'll be surprised how quickly the weight drops off once you get into it though. I've shed nearly 4 stone in a little over a year, and that's not with excessive riding, maybe 15-20 miles a week at the outset, more like 60 now. That's with no major changes to my diet either, just taking it easy with the likes of beer and takeaways.

Good luck!

posted by parksey [362 posts]
7th July 2014 - 21:18


cheers looking forward to buying and then trying cheers Wave

posted by jonesjones [4 posts]
7th July 2014 - 22:33


I was also pretty close to 22 stone when I got back on the bike but only 14 stone when I stopped a few years back...so theres the first tip....start, dont stop

I started on a MTB because I was worried about what damage I would do, then bought a Triban 3 road bike when I got to 19 stone, and it managed fine, as mentioned, a Hybrid is also a good way to go. Most importantly, dont let anyone say dont get this type of bike because you cant do such and such, Last year I saw a very big guy do the Manchester 100 on a MTB for the All Join Jack charity, and this year I did the Grizedale Grizzly on a "Hybrid" that was essentially a Road bike with flat bars.

My point is.....get out there and do it, get the best you can afford for now and you will never have to justify getting something better later

posted by jason.timothy.jones [305 posts]
8th July 2014 - 11:08


To agree with everyone else, look at a hybrid as a starting point. You'll find that for most of them the frame will be fine, it's their choice of wheels that should be checked carefully.

Looks for wheels with a full set of 36 spokes rather than 32 or 28. Tyres should be at least 32mm. If you're buying from a good dealer/LBS, have a chat with them, they might be able to modify the bike with a set of strong touring wheels, or rebuild the existing wheels with stronger spokes. That'll cost extra of course, but you'll have leverage to get a better deal than doing it after purchase.

Oh, and although gearing is a subject of much debate amongst cyclists, you'll probably prefer a triple rather than a compact (double) chainring, which will give you a greater range of lower gears for hills. Most hybrids will have a triple, unlike most road bikes.

bikebot's picture

posted by bikebot [1421 posts]
8th July 2014 - 12:31


I can't give you any advice on the bike but I will say, good luck. I reached my heaviest at 20st before deciding to do something about it. I now come in at 14st 7. On the 1st June I completed the Chiltern 100 Gran Fondo in 7hours (excluding breaks) and I've never felt better. It not easy but the rewards are so worth it. I love cycling, do it every day to work, 7 to 12 miles depending on how I feel.

All the best

posted by matchfit [3 posts]
8th July 2014 - 13:00


Google the 39-stone-cyclist, I'm guessing he'll have some good tips. He posts here occasionally as well. Enjoy it.

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice...

posted by notfastenough [3723 posts]
8th July 2014 - 13:01


Again, no advice on the bike but I think you will find cycling brilliant for your health. I was talking to a bunch on the French Revolution a couple of weeks ago - the 'Burgess Hill Big Bellies' (had a great jersey - rear patch said 'wide and slow'). These were not small gentleman but they managed the 60+ mile, hilly course with ease and all were proclaiming the benefits of cycling. Enjoy 2 wheels!

posted by NickK123 [94 posts]
8th July 2014 - 17:19


jason.timothy.jones wrote:
... Most importantly, dont let anyone say dont get this type of bike because you cant do such and such, ...

I'd second this - I spent Sunday co-piloting the broom wagon on the Shropshire Hills sportive (which as you could probably guess by the name, is really quite hilly) and saw several riders do the 100 mile route (with the biggest hills) on mountain bikes and hybrids. They weren't all skinny Froome-alikes either by any means but they all finished.

posted by simon F [1051 posts]
8th July 2014 - 19:35


I was a shade over 19 when I bought my Trek 1.1 road bike six months ago. No issues at all. And now I'm a shade over 18 Wink

Blog and GoPro videos

Suffolk Cycling's picture

posted by Suffolk Cycling [73 posts]
9th July 2014 - 14:24


meant to add, here I am bombing along in a vid I shot with GoPro - can only be viewed on a desktop, not mobile (mods, apologies in advance & please remove if I'm not meant to link to a vid on here)...


Blog and GoPro videos

Suffolk Cycling's picture

posted by Suffolk Cycling [73 posts]
9th July 2014 - 14:28


How much do you intend to ride?

I'm guessing (apologies if I'm mistaken) you'll probably start out with short rides until your weight drops and your fitness improves a little. If so, I'd recommend buying a cheap, secondhand MTB for around £100. If you ride regularly you'll see improvements in no time and nobody will think you look a bit daft on a skinny racing bike. Then, in a few months time when your weight has dropped, you'll have much more choice.

For extra motivation, you could pick out the bike you really like and make it your goal to get down to a suitable weight. That's basically what I did - except I purchased a Canyon Aeroad and didn't ride it for 9 months until I'd lost an additional 50 lbs. I don't recommend purchasing the bike first though - I effectively wasted 9 months worth of warranty whilst it sat unused.

posted by LinusLarrabee [117 posts]
10th July 2014 - 10:21


I can't recommend the Boardman CX Team enough, sturdy wheels and frame and it shifts if you put slicks on, it doesn't weigh a ton either. I have set a few KOM's on mine. if you join British cycling and add their 10% off to what Halfords have you get a £900 bike for about £720.

Equally the next model down at £600 before any discount is a good model too.

I used to be 18 stone, 13 and a half now!

BrokenBootneck's picture

posted by BrokenBootneck [95 posts]
10th July 2014 - 10:52


LinusLarrabee wrote:
I'd recommend buying a cheap, secondhand MTB for around £100.

Fair comment, get something cheap and cheerful and then spend a bit more when you're able to get more out of it. We all like new toys, but there is a lot to be said for having a cheap hack that just works.

ride slow, ride far, ride often

posted by mzungu [41 posts]
10th July 2014 - 10:58


I started dieting and exercising at the start of this year when I was 22 stone as well; I'm now down to 17 stone and cycling around 100 miles a week.

I'd recommend the Dawes Galaxy Plus I bought through the cycle to work scheme. It's a nice bike and the steel frame is both strong and good at managing road vibration. The drop handle bars offer a good range of hand positions, the wheels have proved sturdy for me and now my weight has dropped I've gone moved down from 32mm tyres to 25mm. It comes with a good touring triple and the range of gears has got my bulk up everything I've thrown at it so far; including the odd 25% gradient in Cumbria.

OK - so it's around £1,000 (I got mine for £899) but a good option if you're committed to the job in hand.

posted by stevenagesteve [12 posts]
10th July 2014 - 12:34



posted by jonesjones [4 posts]
10th July 2014 - 13:51


stevenagesteve wrote:
I started dieting and exercising at the start of this year when I was 22 stone as well; I'm now down to 17 stone and cycling around 100 miles a week.

Wow, that's some pretty serious weight loss, good work! Applause

I've hit something of a wall with mine, the rate at which I'm dropping weight has slowed quite a bit of late, despite the mileage on the bike increasing. Think that means it's time to look at the diet more seriously now, rather than continuing to eat junk and expecting cycling alone to shift the weight.

posted by parksey [362 posts]
10th July 2014 - 14:08


I'm 20st but started off at 22st+ I've got an Allez and it's fine for your weight. Just start and don't stop. Have a look at Fat lad at the back for some good gear.

posted by garethpemis [3 posts]
11th July 2014 - 9:35